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Treatment Options for Drug Withdrawal

Withdrawal from a chemical or psychological dependency upon drugs can be a shock to your system that causes one to endure severe physical effects that may last for more than 24 hours at their worst intensity levels. You will likely be unable to accomplish or participate in anything not only during the withdrawal, but also after it has run its course, because you will need to recuperate and get your strength back.

Substance abuse withdrawal is a part of detoxification, a process by which your body is eradicated of any substances that are built up within your systems that have been harmful and have attributed as key factors in your addiction. Withdrawal starts when the substances are not reintroduced to your system and your cravings for these substances go unsated.

Symptoms of withdrawal include any combination of the following depending the severity of the withdrawal experienced:

  • Dehydration
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Nightmares
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Excessive sweating
  • Seizures

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, detoxification and therefore, successful withdrawal, is not enough to fully recover from an addiction to drugs. Assistance in these cases usually falls into two different categories: inpatient vs. outpatient care.

Inpatient substance abuse care

inpatient substance abuse treatment

Inpatient substance abuse care provides medically supervised treatment during drug withdrawal

Inpatient substance abuse care consists of a medically supervised program to help the addict (now patient) through the process of detoxification and provides training and counseling in the favor of successful abstinence of substance abuse once the patient has completed the program. Most inpatient experiences are more personally curtailed to the addict and their addiction. With inpatient care the withdrawal stage of detox can be assisted with pharmacological help and monitored closely by physicians to determine if there are any co-existing addictions or medical issues which may complicate successful recovery if not treated. Withdrawal that is monitored by professionals can also be more effective when considering the severe cravings that can cripple even the best intentions for sobriety.

Outpatient substance abuse care

Outpatient substance abuse care often resembles inpatient care in many ways, but is more of a risk and seems to rely more on the honor system. This type of care is usually monitored to some degree by a doctor, but a voluntary choice to participate is necessary every day in order for this to be successful. In most cases, making the decision to accept help can be daunting and hard, but especially so for an addict facing withdrawal and cravings. Some outpatient programs will offer prescription pharmacological help to ease withdrawal symptoms, but the addict is basically on their own or in the care of a friend or family member. Outpatient care programs lack a strictness that is in effect with inpatient programs.

If you are struggling with substance abuse and want to seek help, please consider all of the options available to you.

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